Diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2) affects many areas of the body and increases the likelihood of developing vision related ailments such as glaucoma and cataracts. The largest concern is diabetic retinopathy. Early detection through regular eye exams and prompt treatment can help avoid and/or slow vision loss.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
· floaters, or dots and dark strings, in your field of vision
· dark or empty areas in your field of vision
· blurry vision
· difficulty focusing
· vision changes that seem to fluctuate
· altered color vision
· partial or total vision loss
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that those with Type 1 diabetes have their first eye exam within five years of their diagnosis, while those with Type 2 diabetes have their first eye exam very shortly after their diagnosis. Patients who have Type 2 diabetes often go undiagnosed for years and could already be developing retinopathy. The ADA further recommends that those with both Type 1 and Type 2 maintain eye exams once a year following their initial exam to monitor any changes and proactively identify treatment options.
Neighborhood Medical Center offers Diabetic Eye Exams and partners with patients to help manage their diabetes. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, it is recommended to schedule regular eye exams to help manage any changes immediately to help preserve your vision.